Constructed around 1863 as a Church of England, the Church of St. John the Divine is a significant reflection of the establishment of British social and religious institutions in colonial British Columbia. The church also has a significant historical value as an early centre for Anglican missionary work in the Fraser Canyon. The Church of St. John the Divine provided religious, social, and medical services, as well as formal education, to members of the local First Nation.
The Church of St. John the Divine is also valued as one of the oldest surviving churches in British Columbia. The location of the church on its original lot and its surrounding landscape features – such as the stone foundation of the former rectory and the specimen copper beech tree – provide valuable context of the town of Yale as it was during its heyday in the 1860s.
Architecturally, the Church of St. John the Divine is an excellent example of colonial wooden church architecture. Reputedly designed by Victoria architect John Wright and constructed by the Royal Engineers, the design of the church is significant as a vernacular adaptation of the Gothic Revival style, popular for churches of the nineteenth century. Interior elements, such as rafters and woodwork, remain intact and are valuable indicators of typical construction methods of the time. The evolution and growth of the church over time can be seen in the 1880s choir addition, and the vestry and furnace room, which were refurbished in 1954.